If you're planning a bathroom reno, you need to know exactly what your options are before committing yourself to something forever (or for what feels like forever), and that starts with understanding what terms actually mean. A walk-in shower is kind of confusing, because technically, you walk into all showers, but it's actually a really specific term, and there's several design reasons why you may want to consider one for the Pinterest-perfect bathroom of your dreams.
A common misconception might be that a walk-in shower is just a stand-alone shower without a tub underneath it, and while that's part of it, it's not the whole deal. A walk-in shower is actually completely free of doors or curtains. Meaning, if it's a giant shower sans tub but it's enclosed by a door, it technically wouldn't be a walk-in shower. Some walk-in showers are closed off by half walls, others by half panes of glass, but the idea is that it's completely or partially open, so you can literally walk into it. "Walk in showers are typically glass and have no curb or tub to step over in order to get in. It’s a streamlined look that makes bathrooms feel more spacious, as they are typically surrounded by glass with either no, or a very minimal frame," says interior designer Katie Hodges. It's not about size or location in the bathroom, it's about enclosure. Got it?
So what's the design benefit of this and why should you choose one over your own private shower stall? If you're going for a contemporary or modern bathroom, a walk-in shower is a no-brainer. A lack of doors/curtains results in more open, visual space, so it works really well with a minimalist aesthetic. Accessibility is also a consideration, as they're easier to step right into if you have any mobility issues. While walk-in showers do offer less privacy, if you're showering with your bathroom door wide open for anyone to walk on into, that's probably on you.
The design is up to you, but many walk-in showers are square, rectangular, or hexagonal (though a curved wall isn't off limits), and you can play around with color/tile to make it as bold or as neutral as you want. Remember, the inside of your shower will be visible, so make it seriously swoon-worthy.
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